A glorious entry into Jerusalem which a few days later ends with the Passion and death of Jesus. What a downer? How can we adjust to this within a week- especially a week labeled ‘Holy’.
This week tells us how life can change and how fickle people can be. Jesus was welcomed as a future king on Palm Sunday, only to have the same crowd jeer him on Friday as He hung from a Cross. Perhaps we have experienced this before- being the hero one day and the goat the next? So it goes. But this story of Jesus is not just about bad luck but God being rejected not just by the Romans, Jewish leaders, and their people but ultimately also from us. Jesus as Son of God not only preached the Kingdom of God but showed in his actions how we are to act. His life was a mirror in which others could see themselves, for good and for bad. Everyone says that we want God, and on some level we probably do, but being in the presence of God shines a spotlight on our life/motives and actions. We may see that our ‘noble intentions’ were often self-serving rather than loving. No one wants that- which is why it is not just the Jews who are responsible for Jesus’ death but every person. But the point of this Sunday is not to feign sadness or pretend to be in Jerusalem in the first century but to realize the price which Jesus paid for radiating goodness and truth.
So what does this mean for us today? It might lead us to realize not only the price that Jesus paid for His love of us (individually as well as collectively!!) but also the power of the Gospel which continues to cut more deeply than a ‘two edged sword’- causing us to convert and giving us the strength to live a loving, joyful life.
Today let us thank Christ for His life, witness and the Gospel Truth which even today causes unrest and people to explore their consciences.
Please remember the Mission Doctors through prayer and donations in their work of revealing to all a key Gospel truth- that we are brothers and sisters deserving respect and care when sick.
God bless you and Happy Holy Week!
Brother John Kiesler, OFM